RAPID INTERVENTION BRIGADE (BRIR)
The Rapid Intervention Brigade is a tactical combat unit under the command of the Chief of Defence Staff.
(1) It is composed of the following Formations:
–the Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion of the General Reserve (BBR);
–the Airborne Troops Battalion (BTAP).
–the Special Amphibious Battalion (BSA);
(2) The execution of its missions is subject to the prior authorisation of the President of the Republic.
ARMOURED RECONNAISSANCE BATTALION (BBR)
Since independence, the Armoured Corps has undergone significant development, both in terms of equipment and internal structure.
1960: Creation of the Cameroon Armoured Squadron, based in Dschang.
1962: Transfer from Dschang to Nkongsamba.
1963: Transfer from Nkongsamba to Douala at the “Camp de la Valeur”.
Major equipment: AM-M8s.
- 1965: EBC was transformed into EBAT.
- 1976:1st acquisition of COMMANDO V150.
- 1985: 2nd acquisition of V150 petrol Commandos.
- 1973: Creation of 21st BBR (EBAT > 211th EBR).
Carrier Company (EDEA) » 213th Mounted Squadron)
2001: Decree No. 2001/183 of 25 July transformed the 21st BBR into the BBR with:
- 01 Command and Services Squadron (Services)
- 01 Training Squadron
- 01 Mounted Squadron
- 02 Armoured Reconnaissance Squadrons
08/12/13: Acquisition of new equipment 07P 30mm 8X8 and CARA 105 mm 6X6.
15/06/2015: By Presidential Decree No. 2015/270 on the internal organisation of the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BRIR), the BBR was created within the current structure.
As the mother of the Cameroonian Cavalry, the Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion trains and prepares the vehicle units for combat and a multitude of missions, with each as varied as the other, whether of medium or high intensity, inside or outside the national borders. The battalion thus plays an active role in all operations of our Defence Forces:
Internal Operations (OPINT):
Deployed since 2014 against the Islamist sect Boko Haram in the Far-North Region of Cameroon and since 2017 against terrorists in the two English-speaking regions, the BBR has been integrated into the Multinational Joint Task Force operations, Emergence IV and II respectively, with each detachment having a very specific mission.
– EMERGENCE IV: deployed to control the area around the town of Maroua, the BBR detachment also reinforces outposts such as SAGME, KOLOFATA and MALTAM, with occasional cordon and convoy escort missions, in synergy with the other land forces.
– Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF): The BBR is the firepower of the operational sector in Cameroon. As such, the armoured platoon deployed there supports the other land forces in their mission to block the No. 1 highway to the east, mainly between Wambaché and Waza. This platoon also supports land forces in offensives on Nigerian territory.
External operations (ОРЕХ):
The BBR has been engaged in peacekeeping operations in the western sector of the Central African Republic since 2014 as part of MISCA, and since 2015 as part of MINUSCA.
In addition to these missions, which are common to all combat units, the BBR operates under a dual command, which also gives it responsibility for law and order enforcement and monitoring sensitive points in the city of Douala. It is this dual role that makes this elite formation a pillar of the national defence system.
In the city of Douala: Under the authorisation of the Minister of Defence, the BBR actively contributes to securing SCDP sites through motorised patrols, surveillance of sensitive points and forecast intelligence gathering in its area of operation called “Zone Bravo”.
SPECIAL AMPHIBIOUS BATTALION
Before the creation of the Special Amphibious Battalion, there were respectively:
- In January 1998: the creation of 02 Special Army Units (USAT);
- In May 1998: the integration of 200 young soldiers from the 97th contingent (1st and 2nd USAT), evaluated on 07 December of the same year.
- In February 1999: the creation of the BSA by Decree No. 99/017 of 01/02/1999 before the creation of the 3rd Special Combat Unit (USC) in 2000.
The BSA is a general reserve formation with a commando-type intervention vocation, with command post in Tiko in the South-West Region.
- 21 July 2001: The Rapid Intervention Brigade (BRIR) was created by Decree No. 2001/183 of 21 July 2001. The BSA then became one of the components of the Rapid Intervention Brigade (BRIR) in its current structure on 15/06/2015 by Presidential Decree No. 2015/270 on the internal organisation of the BRIR.
- 17 February 2016: The Special Training Unit was created, which contributed in forging new values.
- CCT (Command and Signals Company)
- USI (Special Training Unit)
- 1st USC (1st Special Combat Unit)
- 2nd USC (2nd Special Combat Unit)
- 3rd USC (3rd Special Combat Unit)
III. General missions:
Engaged within the BRIR and the BSA, in addition to the traditional missions of Army Formations, they are also required to:
- intervene on orders throughout the country and even abroad, on land, in the air and at sea;
- support the SONARA Special Protection Company (CSPS) by providing it with a permanent rapid response element;
- secure the peninsular areas of its rear along the coast and sensitive points capable of combating maritime insecurity;
- intervene on orders throughout the national territory;
- intervene in the event of natural disasters;
- secure the bridge over the Mungo.
With the special attention and care of the Chief of Army Staff, it has been deployed since 2009 in international conflict zones, particularly in the Central African Republic for the FOMAC, MISCA and MINUSCA missions, where it has enhanced the image of our Defence Forces by capturing several warlords.
The BSA is also active with a detachment of 150 men in the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Far-North Region as part of the fight against the Islamist sect BOKO HARAM. It was one of the key elements of this Force during its recent and decisive offensive in the Sambisa Forest.
THE AIRBORNE TROOPS BATTALION (BTAP)
The history of parachuting in Cameroon began in 1960 with the first batch of active officer-cadets from the Combined Services Military Academy of Cameroon (EMIAC), known as “Independence”, who were trained and certified as paratroopers by French officers. Five years later, in 1965, a paratroopers corps was created within the Army, with the first instructors and packers trained in Pau and Montauban respectively, followed in 1966 by the creation of the Centre de Livraison par Air et d’Entrainement au Sol – C.LA.E.S (air delivery and land training centre). It was from this date that Cameroon fully embraced parachuting.
The Parachute Company (CP) under the command of Captain ABDOULAYE OUMAROU GAROUA was created in 1968. Two (02) years later, the CLAES and the CP formed the Groupement Aéroporté – GAP (airborne unit), which became the Forces d’Intervention (intervention forces) in 1976.
The Airborne Troops Battalion (BTAP) which replaced the Intervention Forces (FI), was created on 03 November 1983. It was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel BOMBACK Guillaume, followed by Colonels MENGO Jean Paul, DEMA Joseph, ETOUNDI Blaise, EYENGA Séverin, Lieutenant Colonels MVONDO Martin, NDZANA FOUDA Arsène, Colonels MEZUI 70’O Elie Romance and NSONG Serge Aimé.
Structural transformation was accompanied by material transformation. Thus we moved from the TAP661-12 to the French 696-29H dorsal parachute via the Israeli Tsabar. These were paired with the TAP 501 and TAP 511 reserve parachutes. The EL 32, 33 and 34 were used to carry the individual equipment of the fighter.
For free-fall landings, the following parachutes were used in succession: TAP 656, TAP 687 Papillon, American Spirit and French Vectra wing parachutes, Atom 35 and Atom legend M. For safety equipment, the KP3, Cypress 2, Vigil2 and Cypress multifunction were used.
For air deliveries, we switched from the ARZ to the UPL (314 L), all French.
For air deliveries, the battalion was equipped with various types of TR 800, AMR 715 and 716 for accompanying parcels, and G12 and G12 D for parcels weighing more than 300 kg. The different types of sheath: GC 17, GC 23, GC 24, etc. are also associated with these equipment.